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Neighbors of Kane County

Batavia Park District honored as top workplace

Dec 22, 2016 12:28PM ● By Neighbors Magazines

Eric Lacher, Dominic LoGiudice, and Josh Zimmerman from the Batavia Park District and Mark Schmidt, a seasonal City of Batavia worker. Batavia Park District staff assisted the City of Batavia with installing plant beds in the new islands along Houston St.

Batavians have a lot to be proud of. Over the years, the city has received a number of accolades including being named one of the best cities to raise a family, one of the best places to live in Illinois, and one of the best small towns in the nation! And now the park district has put Batavia on the map by being named one of Chicago’s top work places!

The district was recently recognized as one of the area’s most dynamic and supportive local businesses by the Chicago Tribune in its “Top Workplaces 2016” issue. The Friday, November 11 special edition of the newspaper identified the companies that are progressive-minded and reflect the qualifies that truly make the Chicago area a great place to work.

The Batavia Park District was named #38 out of 125 in the small business category.

“Our residents can be rest assured the District takes great strides in recruiting and retaining top talent,” said Allison Niemela, Executive Director for the Batavia Park District, “The people who work at the Park District are dedicated, committed to their personal and professional growth and have a genuine passion and desire to serve our community. I am incredibly proud of all our seasonal, part-time and full-time staff, as well as the leadership of our Park Board.”

The Top Workplace award is now in its seventh year. The purpose is to recognize companies that are making a real difference in the lives of their employees. More than 8,000 businesses were nominated and surveys were sent to employees of each company. The survey was conducted by Workplace Dynamics and measured key qualities such as company leadership, communication, career opportunities, working environment, managerial skills, pay and benefits. A total of 882 businesses met the criteria needed to advance and from there, the top 125 were selected.

“The Batavia Park District was one of only three municipalities to make the list,” Niemela said, “This accomplishment speaks volumes to the residents that their district is amongst the best Fortune 500 companies when it comes to meeting the criteria for what it takes to be a Top Workplace!”

Eric Lacher, Director of Parks and Properties, has been with the district more than 30 years and was not at all surprised to learn of the recognition.

“There’s just something about Batavia,” said Lacher, “There’s not a magic recipe for it. It’s not just one person, it’s all of us. We’re like a family, and you can tell everyone has a passion for what they do.”

The Batavia Park District has been providing memorable experiences in parks and recreation for the community since its inception in 1969. The district maintains and operates approximately 350 acres, comprised of 40 park sites, Hall Quarry Beach, the Batavia Depot Museum, and a multitude of baseball and soccer fields and tennis and basketball courts. The district offers more than 1,000 programs each year and serves nearly 94,800 participants through various recreational, arts, and environmental programs.

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